But being white must suck...
No one is ever on your side. At least not publicly, just historically, which has it's own set of problems. Let me be clear: Being white looks awesome, but there's a very sharp incline that has to suck if you're in the middle. And the bottom... forget about it. Anything less than being at the top is awful comparable to where you're all but preordained to be. While I have reserved my life to incessantly scale this precipitous bluff, it must suck extra hard to be given a statistical and cultural advantage and be resigned to a similar plot in life as me.
It used to be that a white kid would be born to a loving mom and dad who were on the verge of splitting up but thought a baby would cement there commitment to one another. The kid would live relatively carefree for the first 7 years of their life, then mom and dad's war would spill out into the family room and into the car on long trips and even into public. Then, the white kid would have the ingenious and original idea of acting out in a desperate attempt to keep his parents together, giving them a strawman to attack and keep them from destroying each other like Japanese Betta fish. Sadly, it's only a band-aid as the rows grow closer together over time. So in an act of selflessness you focus your attention on shielding your little sister (you have a little sister now) from your family's own personal Cold War.
After the divorce, your parents fight for your affection as you get acclimated to seeing them date other people; Rick knows a lot about sports and he's good with cars which is kinda cool and Denise has a tattoo. You spend your teenage years living with your mom until your insubordination gets so out of hand that your dad has to intervene. You're either sent to therapy or some kind of internship where you learn basic human behavior such as being mindful, seeing beyond the present and planning for the future (i.e. Jesse Eisenberg/Michael Cera's filmography). It's also the summer you learn about girls/boys. You date some, break some heart, get your heart broken, cry and laugh.
Time for college, but years of inexplicable success and access have opened too many doors for you to choose just one through which to walk. How about taking some time off to find yourself? Travel foreign lands, sample other cultures and learn little more than what's contained in the brochure, but cite this time in your life as a turning point when you recount your life story to you post-grad friends who wear scarves all year long.
Good news everyone! Your parents are back together after a whimsical Diane-Keaton-esque will-they-won't-they romp that spans an entire holiday season. Being uncomfortable having a major life event not be about you, you selfishly and incorrectly apply their romantic concession as the life lesson of 'going for what you want'.
You get married in the midst of ping-pong up the corporate ladder, and became the VP of Something-Something Repeating the cycle of domestic terrorism you grew up with, you and your spouse play the roles of your mom and dad. Your kids grow up to be adolescent you; the albino ouroboros doubles it's voracity.
That's what being white looks like to me. Being black is kinda the same except the presence of equal and opposite pressure concurrently coming from within and outside the home with exponential atmospheric force. So, starting from the bottom and unfathomably ending up "here" is a huge accomplishment and deserves to be celebrated. I compare it to Goku training for his fight with Frieza in a hyperbaric chamber with x100 gravity. We're both doing push-ups, but... come on.
I digress. This isn't (another) blog bashing contemporary white folks for benefiting from a history they themselves hadn't forged. I think they're doing a pretty good job of discontinuing the good old way. All too often an old tweet or an errant hashtag can come back to haunt someone who's genuinely not prejudiced. As much as social justice warriors and twitter police would like minorities to be differentiated as special snowflakes within a snow storm, they should extend the same courtesy to their targets. Finger-pointing and shaming should be replaced with inclusion and Andy-Griffin-styled pond walks where the complexities of race are explained in a way that the uninitiated can understand.
Imagine you're white. Now, if you're not, imagine you're male. It's an accepted reality that your life will be a blur of blowjobs and unlimited raises, a veritable cakewalk, evergreen pastures until the day you die. I posit, what if your "I'm a white guy, gimme the world on a platter" kit never arrives. Next to the myth, you never feel worthy of your own skin. What then? You lash out others, maybe other ethnicities and genders, and blame them for your shortcomings in the wake of the white myth. The white myth being that white American men are superior to any and every other combination of race/nationality/gender. It's untrue, yet we all suffer in the face of it's existence.
On the flipside, you get lumped in with all other white males with whom you identify in physicality only. Tom Brady has a billion dollars and a debatably gorgeous wife. Ted Kaczynski blew up a buncha folks because reasons. But some how you represent both these men when you walk the streets. But you're neither. You're you and I, for one, see you in there. But if I see an asshole, I suggest some mindfulness exercises and don't come out until you're a self-actualized butterfly that's aware of the complexities of others and able to accept the social responsibility of being a real-live white person. I know it's hard, but in my hyperbaric existence I have to be Carlton Banks and DMX and Michael Ealy and Malcolm and Martin and Token and.... So if I can navigate all those expectations while clawing my way up from the bottom, you can try to be a little more savvy about the peculiarities of race. And armchair activist, give the 'share' button a rest. And check your sources.
OG Huxtable Bro X